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The Commission of Inquiry on Syria Welcomes the UN Security Council’s Road Map for Peace in the Syrian Arab Republic

Geneva, 21 December 2015 -- The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic welcomes the unanimous adoption of Security Council Resolution 2254 on 18 December endorsing a road map for peace in Syria.

The resolution calls for both a Syrian-lead political process facilitated by the United Nations and the establishment within six months of a “credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance” structure.

We believe this is a crucial first step towards peace and welcome the potential of a peace process to end the devastating conflict and to help ensure respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.

Commission Chair Paulo Sergio Pinheiro noted that “Only a political solution can end this ruinous war and the unimaginable suffering it has wrought on the Syrian people.”  “The current resolution represents a very solid platform for the initiation of such a process,” Pinheiro added.

Adoption of Security Council Resolution 2253 on 17 December on combating the self-proclaimed Islamic state and other terrorist organizations is also a welcome step to expand measures to suppress the financing of terrorism. We have warned on many occasions about the dangers that this group poses to international peace and security and have reported in detail on their horrific violations against civilians living under their rule.

The Commission strongly underlines that all parties to the armed conflict are obligated to take all necessary measures to ensure civilian protection and prevent civilian casualties. In so doing, all parties to the conflict must respect international humanitarian law and human rights norms in their military engagement in Syria, including when targeting ISIS and other terrorist groups.

“It is more important than ever that all warring parties, as well as member states, respect the principles of proportionality and discrimination as they engage in the conflict,” the Chair stressed.

The Commission remains committed to fulfilling its mandate to investigate and document all violations occurring in the context of the Syrian armed conflict, regardless of who commits them.